Growing your own vegetable garden can be one of the most rewarding long-term activities to do around the home. You can’t get anything fresher than backyard-to-table, and the tomatoes you grow are just so much sweeter than what’s going on at the grocery store! It’s true, just ask anyone that grows tomatoes – you can surely trust them, I’m sure they aren’t at all biased.
My biggest battle with looking after my vegetable patch – other than weeds and pests of course – is reliable watering. I’m always worried about watering too much, or too little, missing any plants, and keeping stems and leaves damp so that they might invite mold or pests. That’s why I’m sharing with you this list of the 10 best soaker hoses, making watering easy and reliable without feeling like a daily chore.
Table of Contents
- What is a Soaker Hose?
- How Do Soaker Hoses Work?
- Why Use a Soaker Hose for Vegetable Gardening?
- How to Setup Your Soaker Hose
- 10 Best Soaker Hoses for Vegetable Gardening
- 1. Rocky Mountain Goods Soaker Hose
- 2. LINEX Garden Soaker Hose 1/2″ x 15 ft
- 3. Swan Products Element Sprinkler Soaker Hose
- 4. Holldoor 100 Ft Soaker Hose
- 5. Flexon WS50 Weep & Soaker Hose All Rubber 50′ 1/2″
- 6. JOOSEN Soaker Hose 25ft 1/2″ Flat Double Layer Consistent Drip Hose
- 7. Dramm 5-Foot Ring Soaker Hose
- 8. Swan Products Element SoakerPro Landscaping Soaker Hose 50 ft, 3/8″
- 9. Hlinker Flat Soaker Hose
- 10. GroundWork Soil Soaker Hose
- Final Thoughts
What is a Soaker Hose?
A clever alternative to a spray attachment on a hosepipe. It looks a lot like a normal hose pipe except that the end is closed and along its length, it has tiny pores that slowly and steadily weep water. The soaker hose is laid where needed and fills with water that evenly seeps through along its length.
This reduces water waste since the water is delivered straight to the soil immediately above the plant’s roots where it may soak in instead of spraying where it isn’t needed and evaporating off leaves, walls, and walkways.
How Do Soaker Hoses Work?
The hose is made of a porous material that gently sheds water at a reliable constant rate. It needs a low water pressure which allows most households to easily support a few soaker hoses simultaneously from separate taps, splitters, or connected in series, and some come with restrictor washers included.
These washers allow only the right amount of water pressure into the hose at any given moment since too much pressure would make the hose shed water too fast or burst a leak. Since they’re made for use outdoors and in the sun, soaker hoses are often placed where needed and kept there for the growing season either on the ground surface or under a layer of mulch which can further improve their effectiveness by reducing evaporation.
Why Use a Soaker Hose for Vegetable Gardening?
Avoiding overhead watering will deter mold and fungus growth on your plants and among the ground-level watering options available a soaker hose will be cheaper than a drip irrigation kit while providing efficient watering to where your plants need it most – their roots.
Spraying your plants over a few minutes to water them can damage your plants if there’s too much water pressure or too heavy a stream, and easily causes the water to pool and make a sort of river that carries lots of water away from the plant’s roots. In contrast, a soaker hose ensures all the water droplets released have time to soak into the ground where they fall, delivering water effectively to the root system.
How to Setup Your Soaker Hose
Your new soaker hose has just arrived, how do you install it now? Well, if you purchased a soaker hose that is made with stiff rubber then you don’t just want to force it into position around your plants as is. The rigid properties will make that a huge mission and a waste of energy and time.
First, lay your hose on the ground in the sun on a day with clear skies. This will soften the hose so you may lay it flat after a couple of hours.
When it’s workably flexible then it’s time to lay it in your vegetable garden. It can lie in straight lengths between rows of vegetation, or circle larger bushes and trees that need watering. Either lay it on the ground ensuring it’s lying flat, or below a layer of mulch. Now hook it up to a tap or irrigation timer.
Leave it running for an hour, checking that it’s dripping evenly along its length and adjusting your water pressure if needed, and then dig a hole in the soil below the hose to see how far it has soaked into the soil. Depending on your crops, you can decide if it needs to stay on longer to saturate their roots or not – and now you’ll know how long it needs to stay on each day for consistent watering!
10 Best Soaker Hoses for Vegetable Gardening
1. Rocky Mountain Goods Soaker Hose
The Rocky Mountain Goods soaker hose is a product that has a 7-year warranty for added peace of mind. It is available in 25- or 50-foot lengths and can be extended further with a connecting piece on the far end if it needs to go even further. As I mentioned earlier, it’s important to limit the pressure of a soaker hose if there is no restrictor washer built in to prevent the excess pressure from damaging the hose and this one doesn’t have a restrictor washer included.
This won’t be a problem with careful control of how much you open the feeding tap, but to prevent overpressure entirely you could use a water pressure regulator.
2. LINEX Garden Soaker Hose 1/2″ x 15 ft
Made using sturdy recycled vinyl and a kink-resistant inner core, the LINEX garden soaker can handle pressure up to 60 PSI and outputs water at a rate of 1.8 gallons per minute along its length. The outer layer of vinyl allows extended use in the sun without fear of degradation, making this soaker hose a great choice to leave in position to regularly water your vegetable garden.
3. Swan Products Element Sprinkler Soaker Hose
This soaker hose can serve 2 functions. Instead of slowly dripping along its length, the Element sprinkler soaker hose by Swan Products propels a fine mist along the white center line. If you need a soaker hose then position it line-side down, and if you need to water a length of grass then position it line-side up to evenly mist the lawn.
With this flat shape, it won’t readily coil around a plant’s base as you might need for a tree or bush and will be perfect for a vegetable garden planted in even rows. The color of this hose is a comfortable warm green, adding some extra vibrance to your garden floor bed while remaining easy to spot and avoid with a weedwhacker or garden shears.
4. Holldoor 100 Ft Soaker Hose
If your vegetable garden is a large one, the Holldoor soaker hose is a top choice with lengths available for purchase in a huge range from 10 to 150 feet. It’s even the “Amazon’s Choice” product for long soaker hoses. The firm material allows it to hold its shape even if buried under a thin layer of soil and still reliably water your plants evenly.
It can be extended if need be, but having one long length of soaker hose is always going to be less of a hassle to set up and use.
5. Flexon WS50 Weep & Soaker Hose All Rubber 50′ 1/2″
Using a blue flow restrictor washer, the Flexon WS50 weep & soaker hose will restrict water flow through its length to prevent over-pressuring the hose and bursting. The rubber hose has a reinforced jacket to protect it but if it is damaged during gardening, the rubber allows for simple patching jobs. You won’t need to throw this one away and head back to the hardware store over a small leak.
6. JOOSEN Soaker Hose 25ft 1/2″ Flat Double Layer Consistent Drip Hose
This 25-foot soaker hose by Joosen has a PVC inner tube that is both environmentally friendly and kink-resistant. The material used also gives it flexibility that many soaker hoses don’t possess, allowing you to snake it through your vegetable patch and around shrubs and trees without needing to peg it in place or soften it in the sun for a few hours beforehand. It also rolls up tightly if you don’t have much storage space which could be a bigger benefit for some. All in all, this soaker hose is a good choice at a reasonable price.
7. Dramm 5-Foot Ring Soaker Hose
The Dramm soaker hose ring is designed specifically for young trees and shrubs. It provides a quarter gallon of water per minute to the roots, reducing water wastage and soil displacement that could disrupt a young tree’s developing root system. The 5 or 10-foot rings can be adjusted to provide water exactly where needed and the ring clips to a normal hose so that you’re able to place this soaker hose anywhere it’s needed in your garden.
8. Swan Products Element SoakerPro Landscaping Soaker Hose 50 ft, 3/8″
Available from Amazon, the Swan Product’s Element SoakerPro 50-foot hose is a strong contender for heavy-duty soaker hoses. It is made using 65% recycled rubber and adheres to the strictest safety standards. Perfect for your vegetable garden buried near the surface of the soil or under a layer of mulch and coming in shy of $20, I have only good things to say about this soaker hose. It also includes a flow restrictor valve to increase its longevity and user-friendly design. You can also purchase this fantastic soaker hose at Home Depot using this link.
The HLinker Flat Soaker Hose works under higher water pressure than most of its competitors. Functioning safely from 60 to 120 PSI, it’ll be harder to overpressure this hose by accident and have it burst. Sterling reviews and a 7-year warranty, purchase the length you need from 25 to 75 feet and the setup is dead simple. Just lay the soaker hose flat along the ground for even dripping and gently open the tap until you’ve reached the desired rate of irrigation for your vegetable patch.
10. GroundWork Soil Soaker Hose
The GroundWork Soil Soaker Hose is another long hose with a blue restrictor washer to prevent over-pressuring the hose. Ideal if you have a great distance to cover, and it can be cut to length if you are unsure how long you need until you lay it down. Environmentally safe and with a 7-year warranty backing it up, this one’s an easy purchase.
If watering your garden is hiking up your monthly water bills, or it’s just a chore to do every morning, then consider laying in a soaker hose or 2 in your vegetable garden. It’s saved me time to work on other projects in the house and garden with hours freed up every week while helping me to consistently water my plants the right amount.
I’ve always worried that I’m overwatering my vegetables or making them a breeding ground for mold and pests – but not anymore! Now I know to just let the soaker hose do its thing for an hour and a half every morning and my plants are happier than ever. If you’re setting up anything else in your garden, then I have links below to take you to other helpful pages with advice and fantastic products to set you on your way to growing a greener thumb!
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.